Stagnation of JWs in Britain

by darkspilver 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • darkspilver

    This is an 'off-topic' continuation of this discussion

    steve2: In Britain, growth of publishers is slowing down, if not stagnating


    • Britain has seen 13 consecutive years of increase in average publishers reporting.
    • Over the last 13 years Britain has seen the ratio of publishers-to-population go from 1-in-456 to 1-in-471.

    "lies, damned lies, and statistics"

    steve2: Putting snide quotes aside about "lies, damned lies and statistics" would darkspilver care to comment?

    What is stagnation?: "A lack of growth, or development." / "A period during which the economy grows slowly, doesn't grow at all, or actually contracts after adjusting for inflation."

    I believe the two statistics I provided above, although seemingly contradicatory, are actually an almost perfect example of stagnation within the religious context. (that is, in contrast to being a 'pure decrease')

    While there is growth, it is not keeping up with the marketplace (ie the population) growing, it is not 'developing.' - there is a 'lack of growth'.

    Thus while the JWs are still active, with a consistant year-on-year increase over a 13-year period (ie: growth), once the increase in the population is taken into account (ie inflation of market place, the pub-to-pop ratio) then there is actually a decrease - ie: stagnation.

    This stagnation is compounded by - and is happening despite - the additional fact that, over the same 13 years, there has been a significant 'per-publisher' 25% increase in ministry time being reported. Thus there should be more increase than there is taking place - ie: stagnation.

    I added the quote because people can be quick to pick up on individual statistics, without seeing the context (ie the statistical data as a whole).

    steve2: Follow peak publishers year by year

    This is a side issue, but, no, please don't follow 'peak publishers'.

    Actually, the WT do not count publishers. There is no 'head-count'.

    What they do count is how many S-4 Report Forms (time-slips) are submitted each month.

    • If a publisher forgets to Report last month, and therefore submits two Reports (for last month and this month) they get double-counted as TWO publishers for this month.
    • If a publisher forgets to Report the last two month, and therefore submits three Reports (for last month, the month month before, and this month) they get triple-counted as THREE publishers for this month.

    The most number of Reports a publisher would normally submit at once is six - done to negate becoming 'inactive' (ie no Reports from the last six months)

    Thus the 'peak publishers' number includes a lot of double and triple-counting.

    See Question from Readers:

    I believe it is therefore a statistical fallacy to use 'peak publishers' - it is much better to use 'average publishers'.

    BTW I was JOKING - the WT DOES count publishers, of course they do, they just don't normally print it......

    Each month each congregation submits TWO 'publisher' totals

    • the total number of Reports Submitted (ie this is the number that gets printed/used above); and

    • the total number of 'Active Publishers' (ie the total number of actual publishers in the congregation (with no double counting) who have submitted at least one Report within the last six months). This is generally taken as being the 'publisher-size' of the congregation.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    by the way--in the 60's, in the UK the jw membership stood around 60,000....with a population ratio of 1 to 860ish. the british field was considered " dead" i heard.

  • steve2

    I acknowledge your need to draw this topic out darkspilver - and it does not help that you say one thing (e.g., "the WT does not count publishers") then later as an aside say, "BTW I was joking...the WT does count publishers". It gives an impression - perhaps unfairly - that your way of communicating is not always the clearest.

    You also say, "I believe it is therefore a statistical fallacy to use 'peak publishers' - - it is much better to use 'average publishers'. Okay, address that point of view to JW organization who use 'peak publishers' in its "Fast Facts" on JW org.

    BTW, darkspilver, as for the general phrase "statistical fallacy", I get the impression you are using it in a more colloquial way. Is that right? If not, could you tell me exactly which statistical fallacy you are referring to when peak publishers are used?

    Lastly, by my reading, the British ratio of JWs to population that has increased from 1 per 136 in 1996 to 1 per 171 in 2016 (my apologies if the exact numbers are a bit out) could represent a slowing down or stagnation - we could nit-pick but the overall trend is clear.

  • steve2

    standeath, that is interesting. I do not have Yearbooks that go back that far, but if you or anyone else knows how to locate the population ratio of JWs in Britain in the 1960s, I'd appreciate it. I seem to remember that the British population was around 55 million in the mid-sixties whereas it is currently closer to 66 million.

  • closed

    There are many symptoms of decrease and I guess it is going to get even slower.

    1. New ones are mainly foreign language speakers. At English conventions many foreigners get baptised. An influx of Polish JWs has brought not only new members but many active JWs came over. 10 years ago there was 0 Polish circuits, now 3 or 4.

    2. Many English congs especially rural ones are getting old. I know at least 5 where average age is over 60 and they have 50% at their meetings for obvious reasons.

    3. Preaching pattern is plain stupid. They go out in mornings for an hour or so knocking on empty places. Btw Mormons in my town do their job at night and they do catch people in. Even local Witnesses can see it.

    4. 3 years ago at the elders school, a teacher from the branch did maths: 80% not at homes (to be positive, it can be around 90%), average 4 people per house but just 1, the same, in the morning (others at work or school). It makes - JW reach just 3-5% of population in.

    I must say that foreign JW are much more zealous and friendly in general. Sorry if I upset anybody.

  • closed

    After brexit many Poles and JWs from EU will leave. They already are. And it will be one of factors that figures will drop , I suppose

  • Phizzy

    However you crunch the numbers, JW's are on the decline here in the U.K

    I guess many other parts of Europe are following this downward trend.

    Money will become tighter for the $$$ hungry Org in the U S A , desperate measures will be called for. Assets have already mostly been sold, so hard cash for day to day running will not be sufficient.

    The next ten years will be fascinating to watch !

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    The next ten years will be fascinating to watch !

    I just hope I'm still around to see it!

    George (Well past his sell by date)

  • slimboyfat

    Baptisms have fallen sharply in Britain over the last couple of decades.

    I seriously doubt there will be another year of positive growth in Britain. But I also doubt whether they'll continue publishing the figures in any case.

  • problemaddict 2
    problemaddict 2

    On a large scale, worldwise population goes up by about 1.1% each year.

    Last year the JW's had an increase of 1.3%

    In that sense they could be said to be outpacing growth of population worldwide.

    If you remove the rates of south america and Aftrica however, you find an increase of only about .4%.

    So extrapolate what you like there. I would suggest that south america and africa, while lovely continents, also are still largely developing, and are sort of ripe for JW preaching (catholic countries that have experienced grand hypocrisy for example).

    That would just be my personal observation of course.

Share this